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Bill Barr says he and Maria Bartiromo battled after she called him ‘screaming’ over 2020 election, book claims

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ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jon Karl has a new book out Tuesday that cites former Attorney General Bill Barr claiming that Fox News host Maria Bartiromo called him up after the 2020 presidential election “screaming” about allegations of voter fraud.

“She called me up and she was screaming,” Barr told Karl on the record, according to an excerpt from the book. “I yelled back at her. She’s lost it.”

A Fox News spokesperson denied on Bartiromo’s behalf some of Barr’s account, telling Karl the former attorney general was the aggressor who cursed on the call. The ABC News correspondent said Bartiromo did not personally respond to his request for a comment on the story.

But then, his bias toward Bartiromo shines through in the tome.

“Bartiromo had once been a widely respected and trailblazing financial journalist. As a correspondent for CNBC, she was the first television reporter to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Now she had her own show on Fox News and she was using it to boost a series of unfounded allegations designed to overturn a presidential election,” Karl penned, according to CNN Business.

He also took Barr’s remarks at face value, criticizing Bartiromo in saying, “It’s highly inappropriate for a journalist to call the attorney general and demand he do something related to a criminal investigation.”

The network further noted that Karl “suggests in the book that the TV segments on Bartiromo’s Sunday morning program influenced Trump’s anti-democratic crusade.”

A Nov. 8, 2020 segment featuring Sidney Powell was cited in the book as an example where Bartiromo “used her Sunday show on the network to highlight the most outlandish allegations of election fraud,” Karl opined, writing that while Powell delivered a “fevered rant,” the Fox News host “didn’t express one ounce of skepticism.”

“It was all a lie,” he wrote, “but Sidney Powell’s deranged theories would have never taken hold if there weren’t people in positions of power and influence who had promoted them — people like Maria Bartiromo.”

The week after the 2020 election, Barr authorized federal prosecutors to pursue “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities, if they existed, saying investigations “may be conducted if there are clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State.” He added that any allegations that would “clearly not impact the outcome of a federal election” should be further pursued after those elections are certified.

On Dec. 1, Barr told the Associated Press, “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”

And while Barr didn’t name Powell specifically, he addressed one of her concerns.

“There’s been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that,” Barr said.

He would amicably resign shortly thereafter, supposedly, but not before a tense meeting at the White House, according to an excerpt from Karl’s book:.

“‘How the f**k could you do this to me? Why did you say it?'” Trump asked Barr, to which he replied: “‘Because it’s true.'”

“The president, livid, responded by referring to himself in the third person: ‘You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump,'” the excerpt reads.

 

Tom Tillison

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